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If you are a member of a health club or you have an exercise trainer, you most likely have heard the term "target heart rate." Your target heart rate measures the intensity of your exercise workout.
When you exercise, your heart has to beat faster to send your blood to oxygenize every part of your body. If you do not raise your heart rate to a certain level while exercising, and maintain that level for at least 20 minutes, you will not have any significant impact on your cardiovascular fitness. So, how do you determine your "target heart rate"?
To determine your target heart rate:
1. Calculate your maximum heart rate as follows: 220 minus your age
2. Multiply that number by 0.5 to determine the low end figure for your target heart range
3. Multiply that number by 0.75 to determine the upper number for your target heart range
Example: Your age is 46:
1. 220 - 46 = 174
2. 174 X 0.5 = 87 (low end figure)
3. 174 X 0.75 = 131 (upper end figure)
Your target heart rate is within the range of 87-131 beats per minute.
(Naturally, before beginning any exercise program, consult your primary care physician.) When you begin any type of exercise program, it is good to try to reach only the lower end heart rate and increase it gradually over time. If you have any type of health problem, or you are taking any medication, it may not be advisable to exercise at your target health rate. Check with us first before beginning any exercise program.
To check your heart rate while exercising:
1. Stop your routine and feel for your pulse near one of the arteries in your neck, on either side of your Adams' apple
2. Count your number of heart beats for 10 seconds and multiply it by 6 to get your actual heart rate per minute
3. Check to see if you are within your range. If you're too low - increase the intensity of your work out, too high - slow it down a little!